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Applied Optics

Applied Optics

APPLICATIONS-CENTERED RESEARCH IN OPTICS

  • Vol. 38, Iss. 12 — Apr. 20, 1999
  • pp: 2605–2613

Rocketborne Rayleigh Lidar for In Situ Measurements of Neutral Atmospheric Density

Torkild Eriksen, Ulf-Peter Hoppe, Eivind V. Thrane, and Tom A. Blix  »View Author Affiliations


Applied Optics, Vol. 38, Issue 12, pp. 2605-2613 (1999)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.38.002605


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Abstract

We describe the design of a small Rayleigh scattering lidar for launch on a sounding rocket as well as the first, to our knowledge, <i>in situ</i> measurements of neutral number density performed with a rocketborne lidar in the mesosphere. The aim of the experiment is to study the dynamics of the neutral atmosphere with emphasis on turbulent structures and gravity waves. The altitude resolution of the density profile is better than 10 m. The uncertainty is 0.3% below 55 km and better than 1% to an altitude of 65 km. The lidar technique meets the requirement of measurement of total molecular density outside the shock front surrounding the supersonic payload, which is necessary for precision measurements of neutral atmospheric density. We have compared different component technologies and design approaches and show performance calculations for two electro-optical systems. The first system has laser and detector components that were available in 1993, the second has new solutions that became available in 1995. The second system has a signal-to-noise ratio that is five times higher than the first and employs a pulsed high-power laser diode array as the transmitter and a large-area avalanche photodiode as the receiver.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.0010) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric and oceanic optics
(010.3640) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Lidar
(040.5160) Detectors : Photodetectors
(140.2010) Lasers and laser optics : Diode laser arrays
(280.3640) Remote sensing and sensors : Lidar
(290.5870) Scattering : Scattering, Rayleigh

Citation
Torkild Eriksen, Ulf-Peter Hoppe, Eivind V. Thrane, and Tom A. Blix, "Rocketborne Rayleigh Lidar for In Situ Measurements of Neutral Atmospheric Density," Appl. Opt. 38, 2605-2613 (1999)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ao/abstract.cfm?URI=ao-38-12-2605


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References

  1. T. A. Blix, “In situ studies of turbulence in the middle atmosphere by means of electrostatic ion probes,” NDRE/PUBL-88/1002 (Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, Kjeller, 1988).
  2. T. A. Blix, E. V. Thrane, and Ø. Andreassen, “In situ measurements of the fine-scale structure and turbulence in the mesosphere and the lower thermosphere by means of electrostatic positive ion probes,” J. Geophys. Res. 95, 5533–5548 (1990).
  3. T. Eriksen, U.-P. Hoppe, E. V. Thrane, and T. A. Blix, “A rocket-borne Rayleigh lidar experiment in the middle atmosphere,” ESA SP-370 (European Space Agency, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 1995), pp. 523–528.
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  5. U.-P. Hoppe, E. V. Thrane, T. A. Blix, and T. Eriksen, “Rocket for optical studies of the neutral atmosphere by laser detection (RONALD),” ESA SP-317 (European Space Agency, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 1991), pp. 93–98.
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  9. U.S. Standard Atmosphere 1976, NOAA-S/T 76–1562 (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Washington, D.C., 1976).
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  11. U.-P. Hoppe, T. Eriksen, E. V. Thrane, T. A. Blix, J. Fiedler, and F.-J. Lubken, “Observations in the polar middle atmosphere by rocketborne Rayleigh lidar: first results,” Earth Planets Space (to be published).

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